Criminal Justice : Years of neglect have heaped colossal pressure on the whole system including those who work hard in it, and basic legal advice is being denied to people when they need it most

. After decades of legal aid cuts by successive governments the criminal legal aid market has been placed under extreme pressure. Underfunding of the CPS and the Court system also contributes to the growth of inefficiency in the system, which in some instances is crumbling literally as well as metaphorically. The right to a fair…Continue Reading

Understanding Courts

  Something JUSTICE has been increasingly aware of in its work in recent years – but perhaps over its whole 61 year history – is that access to justice is undermined if people cannot understand the legal process that is taking place. This concern has formed the focus of our most recent report, Understanding Courts.…Continue Reading

Unlike some, I am not upset by the increases for the CPS employees

On the 12 March 2019 the news broke that the First Division Association (FDA), the trade union representing civil servants including employees of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), had won pay increases of between 8 and 10% for CPS employees with an increase of 13% in overtime pay. The news was greeted with astonishment by…Continue Reading

No-fault divorce law puts focus on fairness of financial outcome

Last month, following a 12-week government consultation, it was announced that no-fault divorce will come into effect in the UK ‘as soon a Parliamentary time allows’. The announcement of this new legislation marks a major shift in the way divorce proceedings are perceived in the UK. Under the current regime, unless they have been separated…Continue Reading

Politics and the law: Where do we draw the line?

Whilst the division of legal authority between Parliament (our primary law maker) and the courts (our interpreter of the legislation passed) and the sovereignty of Parliament is a concept familiar to the judiciary, respect for it in practice has been challenged by politicians, the press and the public who have, in recent times, asked whether…Continue Reading

Litigation funding bring level playing field in accessing justice

Litigation funding bring level playing field in accessing justice President of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has recently published his views on what he refers to as the ‘unprecedented and unsustainable’ pressure currently facing the family justice system.  In the wake of cuts to legal aid, he has reported a…Continue Reading

Social Media Raising the Bar

By Clare Rodway LLB, founder and Managing Director of specialist legal PR consultancy, Kysen. What will 2019 bring for barristers’ relationships with the legal press? A strange question to be asking in the pages of one of the Bar’s leading trade magazines, you might think. But the truth is, social media has completely changed the…Continue Reading

Preventing Digital Exclusion from Online Justice

The HMCTS reform agenda, with its emphasis on digitisation of court processes has been ambitious, revolutionary and unprecedented. But as more and more court processes go online, and without the assistance that might have been available before the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, there is a risk that access to justice…Continue Reading

Improving transparency standards for clients of the Bar

Bar Standards Board (BSB) Director General, Dr Vanessa Davies, sets out the regulator’s requirements for price, service and redress transparency following the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMAs) 2016 recommendations. In December 2016, the CMA concluded that competition in legal services for individual consumers and small businesses is not working well. In particular, it found that…Continue Reading

Building rapport within mediation

Mediation is a powerful tool for resolving disputes and one of the key pillars of mediation is the trust that the mediator is able to build with and between the parties, often in a short space of time. Trust cannot be assumed, simply because all the parties have agreed to mediation, possibly the choice of…Continue Reading

The role of Litigation PR outside and inside the courtroom

  The asymmetric approach King Pyrrhus of Epirus famously said: “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.” He was talking in 279 BC about the large number of soldiers he had lost in the battle of Asculum, but today he could just as easily have been referring to…Continue Reading

Robots in the Court?

It is no secret that certain technology companies have set their sights on revolutionising entire industries. From driverless cars to automatic medical diagnosis, some experts in Artificial Intelligence have even gone as far as to predict that within a few decades, no humans will be needed in the workplace. The precise effects of technological change…Continue Reading

Guilty or not guilty – can the computer decide?

  Algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) have become ubiquitous: they track our movements through the GPS in our smartphones; in the health system they help offer diagnostics to cure diseases; they influence our finances by determining our credit rating and they even beat mankind’s greatest chess and Go players. Until relatively recently, the justice system…Continue Reading

 ‘A forum for debate about extradition?’

On 31 July the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, handed down perhaps the most surprising judgment yet to address the issue of forum in extradition law. His decision to bar the extradition of Stuart Scott to the US[1] for offences of wire fraud garnered scant media attention, certainly when compared to his decision…Continue Reading

The dawn of cryptocurrency in divorce

  Recent reports suggest that a growing number of divorce cases in the UK involve cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, as an asset listed by separating partners. In some cases, there has been a suggestion that one partner is using cryptocurrency to hide assets from the other. In such cases, in theory, the court can order…Continue Reading

An overview of vulnerable witnesses in family law cases

 The issue of how vulnerable witnesses are examined in court is by no means a new issue, but it is one that has regularly been hit by the spotlight in recent years. This is due to a variety of factors but perhaps one of the biggest is the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and…Continue Reading

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